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Sunday, October 17, 2021

News in brief: Course catalogs now sold on-demand only

Course catalogs will no longer be sold at the UC Davis Bookstore. Instead, they will be available to order by request only.

In recent years, UC Davis Repro Graphics, the publisher of the course catalogs, acquired new digital equipment that has allowed on-demand ordering. With the intention of sustainability as well as reducing costs, this new method will prevent thousands of catalogs from being wasted, according to Randall Larson-Maynard, senior editor and curriculum coordinator at the Office of the University Registrar. Larson-Maynard initially proposed the idea of making the print catalog available on-demand only.

“As time has gone by, less and less people have been buying the catalogs, so an insane amount gets thrown away each year,” Larson-Maynard said.

Previously, the number of catalogs ordered depended on a rough estimate of how many would be needed to sell. According to Larson-Maynard, estimating was not the most efficient method, as the accessibility of technology has replaced the need for students to purchase hard copies.

To keep the catalogs printing locally, Repro Graphics does the job at a slightly higher cost due to equipment costs and the unpredictability of daily orders. A $15 increase puts the catalog at a new price point of $20.

According to Larson-Maynard, the catalogs are relatively inexpensive in comparison to other campuses, even at the new cost.

Even though the store once sold 4,000 to 5,000 copies per quarter a decade ago, in recent years, sales have plummeted to only about 500 copies each quarter.

Repro Graphics has already started taking pre-orders for the 2014-15 academic year, and distribution begins June 23.

Although the new service is not on-the-spot, the catalog is delivered in an estimated three days once the order is put in, and shipping charges are included in the new catalog fee. The catalog also remains as a free downloadable feature.

“From our standpoint, we’re really happy to be able to provide this service to the registrar and to the community in general,” said Brian Wadell, Repro Graphics director.

— Nicole Yi

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